Liverpool, who are set to face League Two side Exeter City for their FA Cup third-round tie at St James' Park on Friday, have been troubled by injuries of late. As a result, manager Jurgen Klopp will be forced to field a young team with 12 of their players sidelined due to injuries.
The Reds were severely hurt with injuries in their last game against Stoke City with central defenders Dejan Lovren and Kolo Toure as well as key playmaker Philippe Coutinho suffering hamstring injuries. The Reds now have no central defender, as the other two defenders, Martin Skrtel and Mamadou Sakho, are also currently injured.
This has prompted Klopp to bring in Tiago llori, as the Reds cancelled his Aston Villa loan. Liverpool are going to assemble a fresh defensive pair with left-back Jose Enrique expected to play alongside the Portuguese.
With Klopp having witnessed very little of llori in training, he is not sure about the player.
"I don't know how he is. He was injured a few weeks ago and now he is in training. I think he played for Aston Villa's second team a few times and he should be available," The Guardian quoted Klopp as saying.
With huge clashes coming up in the EPL against Arsenal and Manchester United, notably, Klopp is sure to have a fresh team, which will comprise a number of youngsters, who will all be eager to impress Klopp and claim for a place in the squad when other injured players come back as well. Hence, this is a testing time for Liverpool youngsters such as Ryan Kent and Sheyi Ojo, who have been earning a good name for themselves among the Liverpool faithful.
"There are the injuries, but you can also be influenced by an intensive period of football [when selecting a side], and so none of the players who played the last five or six games in a row will play at Exeter. That is not possible. Then we can try and make a team. It is not easy, but we will try and find one," said Klopp.
Exeter, who have registered eight wins in 24 matches in League Two , are aware of the huge chance with a number of key Reds players missing. They can use this opportunity to stun one of the biggest clubs in the UK if their players fire on all cylinders.
"It is a chance for Exeter and they have to take it," Klopp said.
Where to watch live
Exeter City vs Liverpool FA Cup third round clash is scheduled for 7:55 pm GMT (2:55 pm ET, 1:25 am IST). India viewers can watch the game live on Sony Six with live streaming on Sonyliv.
Viewers in the US can catch Exeter City vs Liverpool FA Cup third round clash live on Fox Sports 1, while the game can also be live-streamed online on Fox Sports Go.
Residents of UK can catch the Exeter City vs Liverpool FA Cup third round clash live on BBC One UK.
Football fans across Indonesia can watch it live on beIN Sports 1 HD, while the Malaysian viewers can catch the action on Astro Supersport3.